NEW YORK (AFP) – Wall Street stocks finished higher on Thursday (Aug 18) after a choppy session as investors weighed prospects for further upward movement following mixed earnings.
Equities opened lower, amid expectations the market would need to “digest” recent gains, but prices fluctuated throughout the session.
“It’s meandering in low volume for sure,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B Riley Wealth Management, adding that there has been relatively light economic news.
“We’re in the summer doldrums,” he said. “I’m not surprised to see this market action the way it is.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 0.1 per cent at 33,999.04.
The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.2 per cent to close at 4,283.74, while the tech-rich Nasdaq composite Index also advanced 0.2 per cent to 12,065.34.
Existing home sales fell sharply in July, dropping 5.9 per cent compared to June, to an annual rate of 4.81 million units, seasonally-adjusted.
The figures missed expectations, highlighting a drag from higher borrowing costs.
Among individual companies, Dow-component Cisco Systems jumped 5.8 per cent as the tech giant reported better-than-expected results and pointed to strong demand, with record orders.
Kohl’s slumped 7.7 per cent as the department story reported a drop in profit on lower sales.
The retailer warned of a “softer demand outlook,” saying the most recent quarter was marred by “a weakening macro environment, high inflation and dampened consumer spending, which especially pressured our middle-income customers.”